This Is How You Can Save Your Dish When You Burn It

Here's what to do so that your meal isn't completely ruined.

IMAGE Majoy Siason

Have you ever cooked a dish only to accidentally burn it? We know we have, and it's horrible when it happens.  

Many of us have burned a dish before, so you're not alone.  

We don't do it on purpose but despite precautions, burning your dish is a common mistake that many of us are guilty of committing.

When you do burn your dish, there's little you can do to save the entire dish when it's been burnt to a black crisp. However, if only the bottom of the dish has been burned slightly, you can salvage what is left with a minor caveat: you have to taste it first. If the burnt taste is not too strong, you can try to salvage it. If however the burnt taste is overwhelming to both your taste buds and the overall flavor of your dish, you might not want to save the little that is not yet burnt.


Here's what you can do to either a saucy dish and a fried dish that you accidentally overcooked and burned:

Photo by Majoy Siason
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1 How to save a burnt stew or soup. 

To burn a stew or soup, you would have to simmer it so much that all of the liquid in it evaporated and then burned. These kinds of dishes can't usually be salvaged.


Soupy dishes that evaporated almost all its liquidmay still be saved because you basically reduced the liquid into a sauce. You just need to add water to rehydrate the reduced stock to its former liquid state. If this were a stew and there's no sauce left, you may have to toss it out unless you can salvage the pieces and fry it instead.

However, if you burned the bottom of a stew because you were cooking it over too high a heat and reduced it too much that there's almost no sauce left over, you might be able to save it. 

The first thing you should do when you realize you've burnt the bottom it is to not stir the stew at all. This is so that you can salvage the upper part of the stew that hasn't burned yet. Taste it and see if it doesn't taste burned. Then grab the biggest cooking spoon you have and scoop only the top most part of the stew that hadn't burned yet.


If the stew still has sauce, when you reach halfway, give this part a taste to see if the burn has reached this stage. If not, keep going. If it tastes burnt, stop and toss out the remaining stew.

Photo by Daks Angeles

2 How to save burnt fried or roasted food.

Depending on how burnt your food is, the best way to save this is to remove the skin or outer layer. You can cut the burnt side off or, if it's fried chicken, remove the burnt skin. You can then bread your chicken again and cook it but only until the outside is golden brown if it's already cooked through.


However, there's another problem you may face. If you burned fried or roasted food, it's likely you've also dried it out. Either serve your salvaged dish with a sauce or gravy or simmer it in the sauce or gravy to add back the moisture that originally lost.

Burning a dish is an unfortunate incident but it does happen, even to the best of cooks. There's no shame when it happens but at least now, with these tips, you can salvage what you can and save a meal that might have been completely ruined.


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